Perinatal Depression in Mothers

Around 25% of women will experience perinatal depression or anxiety before or after the birth of their child.

This can be the first, second or any subsequent birth.

Perianatal depression/anxiety can occur regardless of age, religion, or ethnic group.

Common symptoms include

  • Tearfulness, weeping frequently
  • Panic attacks & anxiety
  • Being unable to sleep or feeling exhausted even when you have had sleep
  • No sense of enjoyment
  • Flashbacks to your labour & birth
  • Feeling grumpy, irritable or angry
  • Constant worry over your own health or that of your child/children
  • Not feeling any emotion to your baby
  • Thoughts that you may harm your child or a member of your family either accidentally or deliberately
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Many women describe feeling in a deep pit or suffocating feeling
  • Feeling numb & lack of emotion
  • Putting on a brave face, or “mask”, to hide how you feel
  • Feeling like a failure and a “bad mother”
  • Feeling of wanting to escape and that your family would be better off without you
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings


If you think you or your partner has perinatal depression/anxiety and would like help please fill out our support referral form or contact us for further information.

Increased risk

Your chances of getting Perinatal depression/anxiety increase if:

  • You have a previous history of depression
  • There is a family history of depression
  • A traumatic birth experience
  • Lack of support from partner and family
  • Ongoing stresses, i.e. natural disaster, moving house, changing jobs, financial

Baby blues

This is very common 3-4 days after giving birth. The mother may feel tearful often for no apparent reason.

This is usually due to the fall of hormones after giving birth and normally resolves itself very quickly.

Related Conditions

Other less common conditions can occur during pregnancy and after birth.

These can range from Bipolar Disorder, Generalised Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Postpartum Psychosis.

For more information on these conditions see: Pada: Perinatal Condition Information

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